HR zones don't seem to apply to me

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Yonni, May 3, 2010.

  1. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    I'm a 43 year old male, 83kg (probably 6kg overwieght) 5'8"

    I've always had a wide spread HR. When I was younger I could get it over 210 bpm but resting was 54 bpm. That was when I was a runner and didn't use HRMs to train. Now I'm older my resting rate is around 58 bpm and max now is 192 bpm. All of the training zone's I've looked at seem to slow for me (mainly using Joe Friel's training bible). My fat burning/recovery zone should be up to 125bpm - I just can't achieve figures that low. My average for an easy hour would be around 156 bpm or more. The further up the scale the more I seem to fit within the prescribed limits but I can't seem to get into that low rate recovery zone. Does this matter or should I see the doc? This has been going on for years constantly so it's not an overtraining issue or virus.
     
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  2. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    Zones need to be tailored to your individual fitness level.

    Do some searches here on threshold training or SST and then use that to set your zones. Of course, the purits here will tell you that HR is almost meaningless..........

    N
     
  3. ives

    ives New Member

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    the training zones don't fit everyone. They're an average.
    My max is 203 and my threshold should be somwhere around 180-185 but it's closer to 175 in reality.
    I struggled for ages trying to fit myself into the HR zone I thought I should be in.
    I think a lot of people struggle with trying to fit in with what books say rather than actually listening to their own bodies and using that as a guide...rather than what some book says.
     
  4. smaryka

    smaryka Member

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    What calculations are you using? 125bpm Z2 seems very low by Friel's method if your max is 192. Doesn't he recommend basing your zones around your threshold HR anyway? Those "220 minus age" and "max minus resting" formulas are total crap so don't waste your time with that. Just go out and ride 30 min as hard but as evenly paced as you can and find your avg. HR for the second half, that's about your threshold.

    Fwiw, I have about the same max HR as yours. My Z2 is 145-156 or so. Z5a (upper limit of threshold) is 177-180. I don't use HR to train anymore, I use power on the bike and pace when running; however, I do still track it and use it to help estimate TSS/TRIMP when I'm riding without power (MTB, cyclocross, etc.) I don't even count anything below 115-120bpm when I'm out riding as it might as well be walking! The only time I hit those low values is on a long descent (essentially resting). I'd have to be pedalling very very easy to be lower than 130.

    HR is useful as a secondary training measure (it can help tell you if you're sick, training too hard, etc.), but if you're serious about interval training and specific zones, you might want to look into a power meter which gives much better instant feedback and is less variable than HR.
     
  5. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    Agree with "everyone is different". It's like the blood alcohol level of 0.05 as an arbitrary definer of when you're p*ssed. Some people can drink more than 5 glasses in an hour and barely register on a breathalyser.Others have less and get 0.05 reading !
    We are not all the same, and we should go on feel. Experience should teach you what is good for you.
    My HR can go up to 195 which is apparently a bit too high, but 140 is too low and I am not even perspiring !! So I listen to my own body and not some "expert" or textbook...
     
  6. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    I'd love a power meter but its way down my list of priorities - I've recently become a dad so junior gerts all the spare cash just now. I'm not racing this year just doing a tough sportive or two ( http://www.handsonevents.co.uk/Events/Bealach/Mor_Route.htm ) so I'm more training on feel just now. I'm also still in the base 3 period so I'm progressing quite quickly and average HR has come down considerably over recent weeks. Maybe i was just more out of condition than I realised. Next season I plan to get a licence and race some crits. I've never raced a criterium before but I think it could be my best discipline as I do seem to recover reasonably quickly from hard efforts and love pushing the pace. I'll post another thread about training for crits if anyone has any suggestions.
     
  7. Alex Simmons

    Alex Simmons Member

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    125bpm would be barely a walk on pedals if 192 is your max. Ain't gunna burn much fat at those levels either as you simply wouldn't be working hard enough to metabolise all that many calories.

    Try these training levels:
    Level 2 Calculators

    or slightly simpler (fewer levels):
    Level 1 Calculators

    I think you'll find they might be a bit closer to the mark.
     
  8. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    Those seem a better fit. As I've always had difficulty with this I train more on feel anyway but what I seem to be getting from all of the different formulas is that I do my recovery rides way too hard. I think it's time I re-tested myself before I overtrain.
     
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